HBO Max’s DC Shows Will Reportedly Be R-Rated
Any streaming service owned by a company with a sprawling portfolio of big name franchises finds themselves in the enviable position of being able to leverage the popularity of those brands to draw in a built-in fanbase.
Netflix are actively seeking a property to rival the likes of Star Wars and Harry Potter, but so far the market leaders have had to be a little more inventive in their approach. Disney Plus, though, has recently doubled down on all of their major properties, with a massive amount of content in the works from Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar, Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Animation, while the DCEU was always going to play a huge part in the continued expansion of HBO Max.
Sixteen of Warner Bros.’ twenty highest-grossing movies ever are either comic book adaptations or Wizarding World blockbusters, so it was inevitable that the studio’s in-house platform was going to lean heavily on superhero content, especially when their other biggest earner is tied up for the foreseeable future with three more entries in the Fantastic Beasts series still to go.
Not only that, but insider Daniel Richtman is claiming that the entire slate of DC shows on HBO Max will be R-rated, but offers little in the way of further information to support a wide-ranging blanket statement. Also, the Aquaman: King of Atlantis miniseries being produced by James Wan likely won’t be R-rated, so presumably he’s only talking about live-action projects.
So far, Greg Berlanti’s Green Lantern, J.J. Abrams’ Justice League Dark, Matt Reeves’ The Batman spinoff, DC Super Hero High and John Cena’s Peacemaker are the shows that have officially been announced to be in development that didn’t start life elsewhere, but literally dozens more have been rumored at various points. Making exclusively R-rated content would certainly be a strange decision given how much of the younger audience it would instantly eliminate, especially when 2021 is already going to be a make or break year for HBO Max, but it could also help set these projects apart from what we’re seeing over on Disney Plus with the MCU shows.